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Fleeting visits to the Emerald Isle

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“We apologise for the inconvenience this delay may cause. Again.”

I’m beginning to tred a well-worn path to Ireland. My first trip – on the Wibbler Tour of Dublin 2003 – was a triumph of unbelievable proportions, fuelled by alcohol and only partially memorable because of it. Sadly, every other time I’ve arrived on the Emerald Isle, the main purpose has been business. Shannon was the first business trip, where I found a country so laid back and quiet that I recommended taking a good book. Cork has been the destination of choice ever since, and I’ve discovered that almost everywhere I stay around the town, there’s a wonderful view out of the window – sumptuous rolling hills and wide landscapes framed by the grey interior of a taxi’s rear window, followed by picturesque buildings seen through white blandness of a hotel’s PVC window. And, in reality, that’s about as much as I see of the glamorous locations I sometimes visit.

However, tonight I think I’ve seen enough of the glass-filled interior of Cork Airport. I’m currently sitting in the airport lounge, having just been informed of a two hour delay on the last flight home to London. It’s 10pm, and there are children getting angry and staff looking tense. My bladder is weakening with every moment. Who needs Terminal 5 when there’s Aer Lingus, eh?